September 2, 2021: All of GM’s Chevrolet Bolts produced between 2017-2022 are being recalled at a cost of $1 billion because of the risk of battery fire, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed on August 20.
GM said it was ‘voluntarily expanding’ the recall of another 73,018 vehicles from model years 2019-2022 on top of the 50,932 2017-2019 models already recalled in July.
“In rare circumstances, the batteries supplied to GM for these vehicles may have two manufacturing defects — a torn anode tab and folded separator — present in the same battery cell, which increases the risk of fire,” said GM. “Out of abundance of caution, GM will replace defective battery modules in Chevrolet Bolt EVs and EUVs with new modules, with an expected additional cost of approximately $1 billion.”
GM says it is intending to claim reimbursement from battery maker LG Chem.
The NHTSA has reiterated GM’s advice to all owners to park their vehicles outside and away from any kind of structure, and not charge them overnight.
It also says they should recharge the batteries after each use and not wait for the battery to be almost flat, and set their vehicles to a 90% state of charge limit.
“GM continues to investigate the issue and work towards a final remedy,” says the NHTSA. “Until this is completed, owners should follow these steps.”
The defects were discovered during an investigation of the manufacturing processes at LG and while disassembling the battery packs, GM said.
As well as its EV batteries, LG Chem has had to put out a recall for residential storage batteries because of fire hazard.
Just this month, around 10,000 batteries by LG Chem subsidiary LG Energy Solutions were recalled because of a potential fire hazard.